Being a grandparent is a responsibility not a right.

The ethos of BGSG has always been about the rights of grandchildren, it has never been about the rights of grandparents.

The right of grandchildren to know about their family history, to know about their true identity and to be able to share the very special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.

It is difficult to explain to those who have not become grandparents, but it is unique.

It is a mutual understanding, it is a responsibility, not a right.

A responsibility to support, to be there, to be a stabilising influence in a sometimes unstable time for children.

Grandchildren who face their parents parting, often think it is because of something they have done, somehow it is their fault. Grandparents can reassure and help them in a non-judgemental way, to tell them that they are still loved by Mum and Dad.

Grandchildren who have to face the trauma of losing one of their parents unexpectedly through illness or accident. Grandparents can be there to listen, grandchildren will often talk to their grandparents in a totally different way than they talk to a parent. They can disclose their inner most fears and worries. In the case of bereavement they don’t want to say things that might upset the other parent but they can to gran and grandad.

In the case of grandchildren who are in the middle of family conflict they have nowhere to go, when they talk about their grandparents they get told not to,they have to listen to their parents saying horrible things about grandparents who they love, false allegations are made about them, it is a confusing and damaging time for the grandchildren. Whatever the relationship is amongst the adults it is nothing to do with the children, the grandchildren are used as a weapon.

The hundreds of responses we had after the One Show items with Esther, were proof of just how damaging this is.

We had grandchildren pleading for help so that they could see their grandparents, there were adults who had been kept apart from their grandparents writing to say that they never got the opportunity to tell their grandparents how much they loved them.

Whatever the reason grandchildren find themselves without the love and care they so crave, the very special bond between a grandparent and a grandchild.

When parents who have made the conscious decision in building this hatred for the grandparents and who will stoop to the lowest possible level in their revengeful behaviours, I wonder what will happen if ,when they have the enormous privilege of becoming grandparents,and history repeats itself and they are denied contact, will they remember who it was who began this spiral of learnt behaviour?

Jane.

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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